Concrete Cooling Systems

In previous articles we have discussed the importance of concrete cooling and why it is an essential part of many large-pour projects. We have also reviewed an overview of a typical concrete cooling system. In today’s concrete cooling article we will examine one of the most influential aspects of a concrete cooling system: the cold water system. This includes the water chilling plant and the cold water tank.

Why Is the Cold Water System Important?

The temperature of the water used for mixing concrete is the single biggest determiner of the temperature of the concrete, outweighing even the aggregate temperature and reducing the burden placed on the ice system. Fortunately the temperature of the water being used can easily and effectively be controlled by the pouring company as long as they utilize a quality water chilling plant and cold water tank. This makes cold water systems an almost universal aspect of most concrete cooling systems.

The Water Chilling Plant

The water chilling plant is the part of the cold water system that cools the water from its beginning ambient temperature down to almost freezing levels. Many water chilling plants are able to reduce water from a starting temperature of 113°F all the way down to about 33°F or 34°F, a massive 80°F differential! Although naturally the lower the starting temperature of the water, the more quickly and efficiently the water chilling plant can operate, thereby reducing cooling load costs and saving time.

There are different water-chilling systems on the market which may vary slightly in terms of the temperatures they can process and the exact processes by which they achieve them. Typically the system will utilize evaporative condensers, compressors, and heat exchangers, with some systems featuring multiple compressors or heat exchangers for maximum cooling potential. In addition to these system components the water chilling system will also likely feature a control panel and gauges to monitor and regulate water temperatures, and of course water pumps to convey water into, throughout, and out of the system as needed. Technology has advanced over the years, making modern water cooling systems more efficient and effective than older systems.

The Cold Water Tank

As the name implies, the cold water tank is used to store the cold water after it is chilled by the water chilling plant. The tank is insulated to help maintain the water temperature. The tank will also feature a pump for circulating water into and out of the tank and into other parts of the system. The size of the tank may vary depending on the specifications of the system.

Some cold water tanks may consist of concrete and be insulated on-site, which has the advantage of allowing the tank to be any size as needed. Other tanks may consist of steel with insulation and are usually only available in specific sizes.

Most cold water tanks are installed directly below the water chilling plant. This is an effective way for the water to flow from the water chilling plant into the cold water tank, and also helps utilize space more efficiently. Semco is proud to manufacture and install industry-leading cold water tanks and water chilling systems for the concrete cooling sector. Our systems can be customized to best fit the particular needs of each our clients.